The rise of intimacy coordinators has led to a sea change in Hollywood, particularly as the industry navigates the COVID era. But this practice is still relatively new – as evidenced by a recent interview with Amanda Seyfried, who told Porter magazine that she wishes intimacy coordinators had been the norm on sets when she was an up-and-coming actor.
Seyfried, Emmy-nominated for her role in Hulu’s The Dropout, said that while she remained “pretty unscathed” from her start in the industry, at least one experience didn’t sit right with her. “Being 19, walking around without my underwear on – like, are you kidding me? How did I let that happen?” Seyfried said. “Oh, I know why: I was 19, and I didn’t want to upset anybody, and I wanted to keep my job. That’s why.”
Seyfried’s comments come after Sean Bean spoke out against the use of intimacy coordinators this week, telling The Times that they “spoil the spontaneity” of a scene. After starring in shows including Game of Thrones and Snowpiercer, Bean concluded that “the natural way lovers behave would be ruined by someone bringing it right down to a technical exercise.”
Lena Hall, who filmed intimate scenes with Bean for Snowpiercer, responded by tweeting, “If I feel comfortable with my scene partner and with others in the room then I won’t need an intimacy coordinator. BUT if there is any part of me that is feeling weird, gross, over exposed etc… I will either challenge the necessity of the scene or I’ll want an IC.”
West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler also criticized Bean’s take on Twitter, writing, “intimacy coordinators establish an environment of safety for actors. i was extremely grateful for the one we had on WSS—they showed grace to a newcomer like myself + educated those around me who’ve had years of experience. spontaneity in intimate scenes can be unsafe. wake up.”
This article was originally published in Vanity Fair.